Imagine your own cheeks turned into bacon. Mine would yield a pretty small chunk despite my weight. But click on the jump here and see what must be the jowl (one of only two!) of a massive 250+ kilo pig! The jowl is huge!? And after being cured in salt with some spices, it has already shrunk from its original size! At any rate, guanciale is an Italian bacon of sorts, and the tasty, fatty cheek is used rather than the more common bacon made from pork belly.
I have referred to guanciale before, here and in a related form, here, as Kurubota pig’s jowls… Sister had brought this piece of guanciale over several weeks ago and it has been resting in the fridge, awaiting its destiny with egg yolks and cheese in a classic carbonara done superbly well by Mrs. MM…
The recipe Mrs. MM uses for carbonara is described in this previous post, but I warn you, DO NOT add any cream whatsoever, we are purists of sorts on this type of pasta. NO CREAM, OKAY? :)